Released in 1955, This Island Earth may not be considered a top tier science fiction film from that decade but it was a decent, I thought, work with quite good effects for its time. It also, I have to admit, had its share of cheese, which was fully exploited by the folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000, using this film as their “subject” for their theatrical film, released in 1996.
Released in 1928, the tragic love story The Man Who Laughs, starring Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Casablanca), was based on a Victor Hugo novel and appears, at least nowadays, to be a somewhat forgotten film… except for one very important element: The character of Gwynplaine, the titular and tragic “man who laughs”, was the visual inspiration for Batman’s arch enemy The Joker!
Here we have Louise Brooks (1906-1985) the actor who perhaps most embodied the female sexuality -and hedonism!- of the Jazz Age…
Ms. Brooks’ movie career lasted between 1925 and 1938, with perhaps her best known role being in the 1929 film Pandora’s Box.
I highly recommend checking out her biography on Wikipedia (you can read it here) which presents the good -then very bad- times she went through in her life, only to be rediscovered in the 1950’s and, hopefully, spending the rest of her life from that point in more pleasant circumstances.
Today we have Carolyn Jones, best known for playing Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family”, as Marsha, Queen of Diamonds as she appeared on the Batman TV show!
Ms. Jones was the second member of the Addams Family to appear on the Batman TV series. The first was Ted Cassidy who appeared in a window cameo as Lurch, and the third was John Astin, Gomez Addams, who played an alternate Riddler… hmmm… maybe next?
There are many films I’ve seen and covered here. Of them, I consider the subject of this piece, the 1977 Charles Bronson film The White Buffalo, one of the strangest, most bizarre films I’ve ever seen.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing!
You can be forgiven if you’ve neither heard of or seen it. I don’t believe it was terribly successful upon its release.
The movie’s plot is an odd variation of Moby Dick and Jaws (which was released two years earlier) but transplanted to the Wild West. Bronson plays Wild Bill Hickok, a man who returns to an area where he is very much not wanted because of recurring nightmares he’s having involving a white buffalo. He is forced to use an alias because there are many there who want him dead. Hickok eventually teams up with Crazy Horse, who is also using an alias. He will only regain his “true” name when he gets revenge upon that very same white buffalo which killed his wife and child.
The special effects of the film, especially the final stand against the beast, are often ridiculed because they look so unreal, but having seen the film following its BluRay release, I suspect the effects were very much intended to be that way. They create a sense of these characters caught in a surreal dreamscape and, in that respect, they work.